Letter: Island County Drug Court provides needed learning opportunities

Editor,

Kudos to Judges Alan Hancock and Vickie Churchill for speaking up for the wisdom their Drug Court has applied to our American system of justice.

As a former cop from another state and occasional volunteer mentor for our Island County Drug Courts, I was glad to see how the old short term toss-‘em-in-the-slammer-and-forget-‘em remedy was finally getting improved for longer term effectiveness.

Another thing that impressed me was how so many offenders come from broken and dysfunctional homes.

Most didn’t have the upbringing most of us were blessed with. Many were introduced and hooked on drugs by their own parents.

Life is a learning opportunity for all of us. The courts are basically providing highly disciplined but needed learning opportunities to those who for whatever reasons “missed that boat.”

For most participants, the mere feeling that someone actually cares enough to hear them out often comes as a startling surprise worth reconsidering the downward spiral they’re in.

The idea that a judge is willing to look deeper than just surface considerations comes as an opportunity of a lifetime … and is.

While it may not work for all, it sure beats the old slam-bang treatment, saves taxpayer money, reduces harm to the rest of us, gives hope and often rescues individuals from a dismal future.

Our law enforcement leaders tell us that 99-plus percent of property crimes are due to substance abuse.

Al Williams,

Oak Harbor

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